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GLOSSARY by maclaren1



              Absenteeism rate: Percentage of employed people absent from work at a given point
              in time or over a certain period of time (number of employees absent divided by
              total number of employees, multiplied by 100).
              Antiviral medications: Medications that may be effective for treating people
              infected with a pandemic influenza virus, or for preventing illness in people who
              have been exposed to a pandemic influenza virus. Examples include oseltamivir
              (Tamiflu®) and zanamivir (Relenza®).
              Attack rate: See clinical attack rate.
              Audience (key or target audiences): a person, or group of people, who you want to
              reach with a communications message. 
              Authority: In this toolkit, authority refers to a specific responsibility, usually
              related to decisionmaking in an emergency. Examples include the authority to
              close a business, the authority to make decisions on behalf on an organization or
              government, or the authority to implement policies or safety measures.
              Backgrounder: A written document for distribution to the media that provides
              background information related to an event, disease, or crisis.
              Biosecurity: The use of special equipment, clothing, cleaning, or behaviors that
              can help prevent exposure to or the spread of an infectious disease (or exposure to
              another environmental health threat).
              Call log: A document for keeping track of phone calls received via a public
              telephone hotline. Typically a call log includes: type of call (request for information,
              complaint, etc.), date/time of call, result of call (for example, referral provided,
              information provided, etc.), and any follow-up action needed.
              Case: A person who gets sick from a pandemic virus.
              Case fatality rate: The proportion of individuals who get sick and die from a
              pandemic virus (total number of people who die of the virus divided by total
              number of people who get sick; multiply by 100 to get percentage).
              Cash transfers: A way to provide people who have a sudden loss of livelihood (such
              as income) with enough money to cover their basic needs, by providing them with
              cash or vouchers (coupons).
              Cellular text message: A brief written message, usually 160 letters or less, sent
              electronically between mobile phones.

              GLOSSARY                                                                                   1
    Channel (communications channel): What, where, or how information is conveyed.
    Examples of communication channels are loud speakers, amateur shortwave radios,
    billboards, posters and flyers, newspapers, radio, television, cell phones, and the Internet.
    Childcare: Childcare programs include (1) non-residential centers or facilities that
    provide care to any number of children, (2) large family childcare homes, where one
    or more adults (providers) care for seven or more children in a provider’s home, and
    3) small family childcare homes, where one or more adults care for up to six children
    in a provider’s home.
    Clinical attack rate (or illness rate): Percentage of people in a municipality (or other
    population) who get sick from a virus (number of people who get sick divided by
    total population, multiplied by 100).
    Clinically ill: People infected with the pandemic virus who show signs and
    symptoms of illness.
    Comfort care: Care provided to dying patients to keep them as comfortable as possible.
    Communications command center/post: Physical location that serves as the central
    point for all crisis-related communication and houses the communication support team.
    Communications goal: The desired result of a communication (such as an interview
    or press release) or key message.
    Communications plan: A written plan for how the municipality will manage
    communications during a severe influenza pandemic or other crisis.
    Communications support team: The team responsible for handling communication
    during a crisis.
    Community (or group) interviews: Interviews with a large group of community
    members (approximately 25–30 people) in order to gather background information
    on a particular community or group. Often men and women are divided into separate
    groups in order to learn about their different views.
    Community mitigation strategy: A strategy designed to slow down or limit the
    transmission of a pandemic virus in a community.
    Comorbidity: The presence of other illnesses in addition to a primary illness;
    for example, when a pandemic influenza patient also has another disease such as
    tuberculosis or malaria.
    Containment: Preventing a virus or other infectious disease from spreading outside a
    localized area.
    Cough etiquette: Covering the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing by using
    the elbow, shoulder, or disposable tissues, and washing hands often to avoid spreading
    an infection to others.
    Countermeasures: Medicines or drugs that can help prevent or treat a pandemic virus,
    including pre-pandemic vaccines, pandemic vaccines, and antiviral medications.
    Critical infrastructure: Systems that are essential to a society’s security, economy,
    public health, and/or safety, such as housing, water systems, market structures, roads,
    schools, and health centers.

Disaster management team: Employees or personnel—usually from multiple
sectors—assigned by municipal leaders to manage the response to a disaster.
Early, targeted, and layered non-pharmaceutical interventions strategy: A strategy
for implementing various non-pharmaceutical interventions early and consistently
in a pandemic in order to slow or limit transmission of the virus in a community.
Empathy: The ability to identify with and understand somebody else’s feelings
or difficulties.
Emergency operations center: Refers to both the multisector team responsible for
coordinating response to a disaster and the physical location of this team.
Essential goods: Food and other supplies that a municipality needs to survive, such as
medical supplies and gasoline.
Essential services: Services and functions that must be continued, even during a
pandemic, to maintain the health and welfare of the municipality. Without them
sickness, poverty, violence, and chaos would likely result.
Essential workers: Personnel needed to maintain essential services.
Face mask: Disposable mask covering the nose and mouth, designed to prevent the
transmission of influenza germs from one person to another.
Fact sheet: A printed document, usually no more than one page, providing basic facts
about a disease or situation in an easy-to-read format, such as bulleted sentences.
Faith-based organization: An organization that holds religious or worship services,
or is affiliated with a particular religion or house of worship (church, synagogue,
mosque, etc.).
First announcement: First official message to the public—either through the media
or directly—about a crisis situation.
First responders: A wide variety of community representatives, staff, and volunteers
who will provide critical information, care, and leadership during a pandemic
influenza crisis.
Focus group discussions: A way to get a quick understanding of a specific
population’s views on a key issue; a facilitator or moderator leads a discussion with
approximately 6–8 people.
Food security: A condition in which people can grow, buy, or trade for enough
nutritious food for a healthy and active life. The term food security and the opposite
condition, food insecurity, may be applied to individuals, families, groups, or
communities, as well as cities or regions.
Hand hygiene: Frequent hand-washing with soap and water for 20 seconds, or
rubbing hands with alcohol-based products (gels, rinses, foams) that do not require
the use of water, in order to prevent the spread of illness.
Hotline: A direct telephone line available for the public to call into 24 hours a day to
ask questions about a crisis or other issue of public concern.
Illness rate (or clinical attack rate): Percentage of population that gets sick from a
virus (number of people who get sick divided by total population, multiplied by 100).

GLOSSARY                                                                                   3
    Immunity: The ability to avoid infection or disease through the body’s immune
    system. Immunity can be innate (present at or around birth) or acquired, either
    through exposure to disease or through vaccination.
    Impact projection: The estimated number of deaths and seriously ill persons that will
    require healthcare during a pandemic.
    Incubation period: The amount of time (hours, days, or weeks) between when a
    person is first exposed to an infection or virus and when the first symptoms (like
    coughing or fever) begin.
    Infection control: Ways to reduce the risk of transmission of an infection or virus from
    infected individuals to other people (including hand hygiene, cough etiquette, use of
    personal protective equipment such as face masks and respirators, and disinfection).
    Influenza pandemic: A worldwide epidemic caused by the emergence of a new
    influenza virus strain to which humans have little or no immunity, and which
    develops the ability to infect humans and to be transmitted efficiently between
    humans for a sustained period of time.
    Isolation: Keeping sick people away from others to prevent them from infecting
    others; can be done in a hospital, clinic, or at home.
    Key informant interviews: One of several methods of gathering information about
    a community for the purpose of evaluating the community’s vulnerability in terms of
    food security and livelihood security; specifically, individual interviews with people
    who are knowledgeable about certain aspects of a community (such as community
    leaders, shopkeepers, healthcare providers, or teachers) or people who are highly
    vulnerable and/or have a unique perspective (such as widows, older people, orphans,
    or the disabled).
    Key message: Important point that a communicator (such as a municipal leader or
    spokesperson) wants an audience to remember after an interview, press conference, etc.
    Livelihood groups: Groups of people who have similar sources of income and/or food
    as well as similar social/cultural practices; such groups typically share a similar level of
    risk for food insecurity (see food security above).
    Livelihoods: The skills, abilities, and assets (such as money saved in bank accounts,
    land owned, and access to social services) that people have; all of their activities; and
    the decisions they make that help them survive each day. This includes, but is not
    limited to, the way people earn money.
    Livelihood security: The ability to maintain a healthy and secure life.
    Media advisory: A brief document (one page or less) presenting basic information
    about an upcoming event to media outlets, usually with the purpose of inviting them
    to attend a special event, such as a vaccination clinic or a news conference.
    Media contact list: A list of key contacts at media outlets, including the name and
    title of media representatives, phone numbers, fax numbers, and email addresses.
    Media inquiry: A question or request for information from a media outlet.
    Media monitoring: Watching, listening, and reading the news in order to keep track of
    what is being reported, note any false information or rumors that need to be corrected,
    and evaluate the success of communications in order to adjust messages as needed.

Media monitoring system/report: A system for monitoring the media, as described
above; and written reports that present the results of this monitoring, on a weekly
basis for example.
Message map: A visual aid that serves as a quick reference to an organization’s
messages, their sequence, and their importance, which municipal leaders and their
communications team can use to respond to anticipated questions or concerns about
a pandemic or other crisis.
Misinformation: False information.
Morbidity rate: The number of people in a population who have a disease at a given
time (e.g., 20,000 cases of influenza in a population of 100,000 people equals a 20%
morbidity rate).
Mortality rate: Percentage of people who die from the illness over a specific period of
time (e.g., 20 deaths per 100,000 people per week equals a 0.02% mortality rate).
Mult box (or press box): A device that connects a podium, speaker, and microphone;
may be needed by broadcast reporters to record the proceedings of press conferences.
Municipal leadership team: Personnel responsible for the regular, daily functioning
of a municipality, typically composed of the mayor, his or her immediate support
staff, and other officials.
News briefing: A brief session at which government officials (or other authorities)
update the media on the progression of events and/or new information related to an
ongoing crisis; typically shorter than a press conference.
News conference: See press conference.
NGOs: Non-governmental organizations. Examples are the International Federation of
Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, World Health Organization, and Salvation Army.
Non-essential services: Services that are not essential to a municipality’s survival and
thus can be stopped or closed down during a pandemic (for example, barber shops or
Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs): Non-medical actions that can limit the
spread of a disease, such as social distancing and infection control.
Op-ed (opposite editorial): A newspaper article expressing an opinion, usually
written by a prominent journalist or an expert in a particular subject, and printed on
the opinion page.
Pandemic vaccine: Vaccine to help prevent people from getting infected with a
pandemic virus; such a vaccine can be developed only after the pandemic virus emerges.
Pandemic wave: Pandemics typically occur in a series of waves, each one lasting
approximately 6 to 12 weeks. 
Peak week: The worst week of a pandemic wave, when the greatest amount of deaths
will occur, usually around the midpoint of the wave.
Personal protective equipment: Any type of clothing, equipment, or device used to
protect workers while doing their jobs; for healthcare workers, protective equipment
usually includes gowns, face shields, gloves, face masks, and respirators.

GLOSSARY                                                                                   5
    Post-exposure prophylaxis: Administering antiviral medications to individuals who
    have been exposed to people infected with influenza, but may not have gotten sick, in
    order to prevent further transmission of the disease.
    Pre-pandemic vaccine: Vaccine to protect people against strains of influenza virus
    that may have the potential to cause a pandemic (typically virus strains that have
    occurred in animals and infected some humans, as happened with the avian influenza
    H5N1 virus). Because this type of vaccine is prepared before a new pandemic virus
    begins, it is not known how much protection it will provide against the actual
    pandemic virus.
    Preparedness: Being prepared for unpredictable events such as a pandemic, other
    public health emergency, or natural disaster.
    Post-trigger: When international leaders announce that a pandemic influenza virus is
    spreading easily from person to person and is likely to spread around the entire world
    (pandemic Phase 6, according to the World Health Organization). This starts the
    “response phase” in pandemic influenza programs.
    Press conference (or news conference): A formal event in which government officials
    and/or other authorities invite journalists to hear new information and ask questions
    about a crisis, event, or situation.
    Press release: A one to two page document for distribution to the media, usually to
    provide basic information (who, what, when, where, why) on an event or an update
    on an ongoing situation such as a pandemic.
    Prophylaxis: Something one can do to prevent a disease or illness. In relation to
    pandemic influenza, this specifically refers to giving antiviral medications to healthy
    people in order to prevent the virus from spreading.
    Public information: Information that needs to be shared with the public.
    Public information officer: Official of a government, government agency, or other
    organization who is responsible for providing information to the public and the media.
    Public safety sector: The forces/departments responsible for the safety of a
    population, such as the police, military, or civil defense.
    Public service announcement: A 30- to 60-second broadcast designed to persuade an
    audience to take specific actions, or to adopt a particular viewpoint on an issue.
    Quarantine: Keeping people who may have been exposed to an illness but are not yet
    sick away from others for a long enough period of time to determine if they are going
    to get the illness, in order to prevent the spread of the disease.
    Rapid diagnostic test: Medical test for quickly confirming whether someone has
    been infected with a specific influenza strain.
    Recovery: The process of recovering from a shock (like a pandemic) and returning to
    a state of well-being that is equal to or greater than pre-disaster living conditions.
    Resource-poor countries: Countries that have severe gaps in pandemic preparedness
    and capacity for responding to a pandemic, and that may generally lack critical
    economic, health, and social resources for their populations.
    Response: Actions taken by leaders, communities, and individuals to reduce the
    impact of a pandemic once it reaches the immediate geographic region.

Resource-rich country: Countries that have relatively greater economic, health, and
social resources for responding to a pandemic than resource-poor countries.
Safety net programs: Programs that provide resources to disadvantaged groups; for
example, homeless shelters, unemployment benefits, food distribution, etc.
Seasonal influenza: Influenza virus infections by strains that occur in familiar annual
patterns. Because these strains have infected humans in the past, most people already
have some protection, or immunity, against them.
Second- and third-order consequences: Unintended consequences resulting from a
social distancing measure. For example, closing schools may lead to increased employee
absenteeism, a second-order consequence, because parents will need to stay home to
care for their children. High absenteeism may lead employers to close workplaces,
which could result in loss of income for employees, a third-order consequence.
Sector: A distinct subdivision of a society, economy, or government whose
components share a similar function. A municipality may be grouped into different
sectors depending upon the roles or areas of expertise of their members within the
community (such as the health, transportation, or utilities sectors).
Social distancing: Measures to increase the space between people and decrease contact
among people in order to reduce the spread of an infectious disease like influenza, such
as school closures, work closures, and cancellation of public gatherings.
Social networking site: A Web site that provides an online social community, usually
open to the public, where individuals can post and read others’ personal information
and communicate with each other electronically.
Spokesperson: Person who communicates with the media and the public on behalf of
a government or organization.
Strain (or virus strain): A subcategory of an influenza virus. There are many
different strains of influenza viruses, which change constantly and create new strains
that replace older ones.
Surge capacity: The ability of an organization to provide more services than usual for
a limited period of time in order to meet increased demand during a crisis such as a
pandemic. For example, the ability of medical laboratories to provide greater numbers
of vaccines, or the ability of a hospital to care for more patients than usual.
Surgical mask: Disposable face mask that covers the mouth and nose, used to
prevent the transmission of germs.
Surveillance: Continuous monitoring of a disease (both cases of illness and its
spread) with the goal of controlling the disease.
Sympathy: The feeling or expression of pity or sorrow for the pain or distress of
somebody else.
Talking points: Main points, prepared and written down in advance, for a
spokesperson or other official to focus on during an interview, press conference, or
other media appearance; usually closely related to an organization’s key messages.
Target audience: The people to whom a message, communication, or information
is directed.

GLOSSARY                                                                                   7
    Telework: Working away from the usual workplace (often at home) and
    communicating with the workplace via computer (usually e-mail and/or internet),
    telephone, or fax.
    Triage: A way to prioritize medical treatment for patients based on the severity of
    their conditions—in order to save the most lives—when it is not possible to treat all
    patients immediately.
    Virulence: The ability of a virus or bacteria to cause illness, and the severity of the
    illness caused.
    Waves: Unlike most disasters, which tend to happen as a single event that ends within
    a day or so (such as a hurricane or an earthquake), a pandemic may occur in a series
    of waves, each one lasting approximately 6–12 weeks. The very worst week of the first
    wave is likely to occur around the fourth or fifth week after the pandemic starts in
    your area. It is difficult to determine the impact of each subsequent wave. However,
    because of the additional strain that each successive wave places on a municipality’s
    resources, each wave has the potential to be more lethal than the previous one. 
    Wealth ranking (categories): A way of categorizing people in a community
    according to community members’ perceptions of how well off or poor people seem
    to be (for example, categories are typically “very poor,” “poor,” “better off,” and “well
    off”). These categories usually are defined not just by financial wealth, but also by
    how people earn money and how much access they have to community services such
    as healthcare.
    This glossary has been adapted in part from the following source:

    CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 2007. Appendix 1: Glossary of
    terms, in Interim pre-pandemic planning guidance: Community strategy for pandemic
    influenza mitigation in the United States, 71-74.
    community/community_mitigation.pdf (accessed May 15, 2009).


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